A one-step chemical process to synthesize Graphene Quantum Dots

A Rice University laboratory has found a way to turn common carbon fiber into graphene quantum dots by a one-step chemical process , which is markedly simpler than established techniques. The GQDs are d by chemical oxidation, acidic exfoliation and cutting of micrometer –sized pitch -based carbon fibers( CF ) .

The size of the as-prepared GQDs is 1-4nm, and it could be controlled through processing at relatively low temperatures, from 80℃ to 120℃. It was found that the photoluminescence of the GQDs can be tailored through varying the size, at 120, 100 and 80 degrees, they got blue, green and yellow luminescing dots. They also found the edges of the dots tended to prefer the form known as zigzag. The edge of a sheet of graphene — the single-atom-thick form of carbon — determines its electrical characteristics, and zigzags are semiconducting.

Because of the low cytotoxicity and excellent biocompatibility, and high water solubility, they thought that these GQDs can be used as an eco-friendly material in biolabeling and bioimaging.

 Original article citation

J. Peng, W. Gao, B. K. Gupta, et al. “Graphene Quantum Dots Derived from Carbon Fibers”, Nano Lett. 12, 844 – 849 (2012). dx.doi.org/10.1021/nl2038979

From Minmin Xie.

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